TEN robberies in just over two-and-a-half months are worrying Shoalhaven police.
In seven of those robberies a weapon of some kind was used. The latest, on Monday evening at the IGA supermarket in Lyndhurst Drive, Bomaderry, involved a firearm.
Statistics from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics have shown this latest surge in robbery offences in the Shoalhaven Local Area Command since July has equalled the same number for the 12 months from April 2012 to March 2013.
In the recent two-and-a-half-month robbery spree, there have been seven robberies where a weapon was used, including Monday night’s incident with the firearm, the same as for all of the 2012-13 period.
There have also been three robberies without a weapon in that period.
In the 24 months from April 2011 to March 2013 the Bureau revealed there were 71 robberies in the local command.
In the breakdown, between April 2011 and March 2012, there were 30 robberies without a weapon, compared to 18 for the same period in 2012-13.
In both years there were two robberies where a firearm was used, while in 2011-12 there were 12 robberies with other weapons and just seven in 2012-13.
Shoalhaven police crime manager Detective Inspector Mark Robinson said it was hard to explain why the area had seen such an increase in robbery offences in recent months.
He said it appeared an increase in security by banks over a number of years has led to smaller businesses now becoming the targets of robbers.
“The increase in bank security has made them harder to target,” Inspector Robinson said.
While historically there can be some correlation between drug use and robbery offences, Inspector Robinson said in these latest local incidents police have no evidence of it.
“Even though we have had a number of robberies within the local command over the past couple of months the community can rest assured these matters are still being investigated,” he said.
“And we continue to look to the public for assistance.
“Police received a great response for information over the recent bashing of Francois Beugels and we ask anyone who may have any information about any of these recent offences to contact Nowra Detectives or Crime Stoppers.”
Inspector Robinson said Shoalhaven officers were also constantly liaising with neighbouring commands and in particular Lake Illawarra, in relation to similar offences also occurring in those commands.